Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 594 A Seed Planted--Sprouts! and Unexpired Dreams

Day 594

A Seed Planted—Sprouts! and Unexpired Dreams

I wasn’t in the mood for an omelet or oatmeal this morning. I settled on fruit and coffee, more specifically---a pear and a banana. I’ve rediscovered my love of pears lately, oh wow, they’re so good! By the time lunch rolled around, I still wasn’t in the mood to cook---so I stepped out and bought a Subway sandwich at the shop less than three blocks from my apartment.

If you’ve read every single day here, then maybe you remember me giving my blog address to a young man that reminded me of me. It was February 2009—and I can’t find the specific day to save my life. But I remember giving my blog address to a security guard and asking him to deliver it to this young man. The young man was working, and I was there probably doing a broadcast, and when he had a break---we visited for several minutes about our weight issues. I no longer approach people like this. It’s just not a good practice. If someone reaches out to me, I’ll do what I can to help---and I’ll share, but only if they ask.

Well---tonight I checked my e-mail and found the most wonderful message from that young man. I haven’t heard from him since we first met---so imagine my elation when I opened up this email:

We met at the Tonkawa Casino probably a year ago this past February. You had a security guard give me a note with the blog address on it. At first I was furious, But I got to thinking, You and I were pretty big guys, so just maybe you had lost some weight and knew some secrets about how to get the job done. so I went home and logged on. Your Blog is awesome, and should be published as inspirational materials for people like me. At the time we met I weighed 540. I had just lost 30 pounds. I had just fought off 5 months of pneumonia and broncitis. Plus I had quit smoking "cold turkey" after 10 years. Well a lot has changed since then. I am now 600ish. I take several daily pills. I have carried that blog address in my wallet since then. Then just last week I heard your name mentioned on the radio for the lose to win in 2010, and that you had lost 250 pounds. I got on your blog tonight and saw the before and after pics. I have to tell you, I would not have ever have recognized you now. You look just awesome. A can only hope to look as good and healthy as you do, GOOD FOR YOU. I would like to participate in the lose to win because I could get rid of about 400 lbs or so, but I didn't catch when the weigh in is. If you could let me know I would really appreciate it.. If I missed it, I have scales that go to 750lbs. Please drop me a line, You are inspiring me to take back control of my life. I look forward to hearing from you.

Whatever was dragging me down today was immediately lifted while reading this e-mail. I was so happy for this young man. He carried that address in his wallet for over a year, wow! This is what it’s all about my friend! This is it---taking back control of your life! Living---and experiencing freedom from morbid obesity---it’s an amazing—life changing thing. I’m so happy for this guy. (As of this writing---Cathy Cole, the director of the “Lose To Win” program called and told me that the young man did show up and he has officially joined this weight loss program.) I couldn’t be more thrilled!!

I traveled back into the archives to exactly one year ago today and found something that means a bunch to me. Here’s an excerpt from May 2nd, 2009:

Dreams haven't an expiration date my friend. It is never too late to begin. Remember that time keeps moving regardless of what you do or don't do. Too much time I wasted depressed over lost time. Does that even make sense? Spending even more time being depressed over wasting time. I've often thought about how I wasted my 20's being anywhere from 470 to 510 pounds. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that my entire 20's was bad. I'm talking about my weight. I spent the first six and a half years of my 30's upset with myself for wasting my 20's. If I just would have lost the weight before age 25, my life would be so much better now. Thoughts like that may be true, but spending six and a half years wishing I would have done something about it in my 20's was the most counterproductive thing I could have done. Had I gone another few years at over 500 pounds, I could have spent the first three years of my 40's upset with myself for wasting my 30's. I say only three years, because I really doubt I would have lived much longer then that at over 500 pounds. Now is the time, today, right this second. Not next Monday, or after the holidays, or after that big project at work is complete. Now is the time. Because something I've learned the hard way is: There's never a good time to start if you allow yourself to explore every excuse that could keep you. I could always find a good reason why it wasn't a good idea to get started. I stopped making excuses on September 15th, 2008, and look where it's put me today.

I took a nice bike ride in the beautiful spring sunshine today---it was so incredibly beautiful! This is fun…a “playout” not a “workout,” for sure! I really don’t know how far I rode around. But I was out there nearly an hour, constantly riding. I was honked at by what I thought was someone telling me to get out of the way---it wasn’t, it was my friend Brad saying “hey!” He rolled down his window and told me I looked like I belonged on that bike. That was a very cool thing to say, because I still feel a little awkward out in public on that thing. I love it though, I do---and tomorrow I’m installing a bigger and better padded seat, given to me by another friend. I think it will make my biking time even more enjoyable!

I do love my George Foreman Grill---oh wow, how did I ever live without this thing? I took a frozen chicken breast and some frozen shrimp---plugged it in, seasoned with pepper---shut it down, and ten minutes later…walla! Done! It was incredible. I opened a can of green beans and enjoyed them without an added 60 calories of melted white American cheese. That’s big for me---leaving the green beans without cheese…Huge…I’ve been eating them with cheese since I was a kid! I bought some asparagus at the store the other night and it’s still sitting in my fridge in the bag. I need to make myself grill it up and give it another try. I received wonderful suggestions for preparing asparagus, so I’ll go back and check that out---I may do that tomorrow!

I found an interesting comment from Brian on yesterday’s post. Brian writes:

Sean, I'll be honest here, I think you need to take an honest look at the last 6 months of your life, and specifically your weight loss journey, and do some hard soul searching about what has changed with that.

Go back to November 1st, or the first weigh in after that, and you were at 278 pounds. 6 months later you're at 257.

One way to look at that is to go, good, I'm still on the right track, I'm still losing. And that is a good thing. But another thing to consider is this....that averages out to about 3 pounds...a month.

I sorta stumbled across your blog around that time and have been reading it since then. I had decided that after a couple years of depression following a difficult divorce and some other personal issues. After being disgusted with myself for putting on 100 extra pounds I decided to clean my shit up and get the problem fixed. I started in November 22 pounds heavier than you were at the time, and at this point....I'm 57 pounds lighter than you.

I'm not encouraging calender regret (as you like to put it), but I'm suggesting you seriously look at what you're doing different, because if you were placing a high level of importance on getting to your goal weight, you'd have been there 2 or 3 months ago.

Brian, you’re right---I could use an evaluation of how I can make this body respond better in a more efficient way. Less calories? More calories? More intense exercise? Strategic eating to enhance my metabolism and productivity of my weight training? Yes, yes, yes! With that said…

I don’t think you intended anything negative with your analysis of my last six months, so let me say: Congratulations on your wonderful success! And remember---each of our journeys are different---and one success isn’t better than another based solely on number of pounds lost. My 248 pounds is another persons 50, 75, or 100---it’s all relative and unique for each person. As for me---I lost 119 pounds in the first five months and by day 365 I had lost 212 pounds total. I had lost 227 pounds by November and even though it started to slow dramatically, I was still going downward. Yes it has been slow, very slow. In this time period, I hit a couple of stalls and have even had two gains. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. This is my lifestyle forever---it was never a race to lose weight. Have I slacked in the exercise department? Yes---I’ve been very open about that. I even upped my calories over the last few months without doing too much extra activity. But I certainly have zero calendar regret in this regard. The only calendar regret I might have is not getting committed to a weight-training plan sooner. But even that doesn’t bother me much anymore. After losing 248 pounds I feel better than I ever have in my entire life. And the choices and changes that have developed in me are changes and choices that I can live with forever…not just until I hit goal. Will I hit goal? Yes I will—but when I do isn’t as important as knowing that what I’m doing is something I can do for as long as I live. My best to you and I bet you feel and look better than ever!

This has been a busy weekend. I received some wonderful fashion advice in my e-mail inbox after posting the Poncan Opry picture from last night. Thank you for reading! It’s weight training and spinning class at the YMCA tomorrow! Goodnight and…

Good Choices,


  1. First of all, hello from "you" in Day 591. You're such a fine and caring person, Sean.

    Second, you do need a fashion make-over. Somebody should get you on "What Not to Wear". It would be a hit episode.

    And third, you are a very kind man. I find it hard to be so kind to people like Brian. I just can't bear macho men like him. He needs to re-read the Aesop's fable about the tortoise and the hare...even though you have been far from a hare yourself.

    I want to know where Brian will be ten years down the line. Still bragging about his phenomenally fast weight loss? Maybe yes and maybe no. Personally, I'd put my money on you, Sean.

    Brian should also think about kindness and caring--two things that have always been the hallmark of your approach. His selfish "look how great I am" attitude does nothing for either himself or the world around him. I think he's got a great deal to learn.

    I just got around to listening to your three- part video and am once again struck by how much you give to others. Bravo!

  2. How encouraging that must feel that you got a return on your "seed." You just never know how you're going to affect people do you?

  3. I just sent my boyfriend an email - this is what it said:

    If you only follow one blog in your life, follow this one.

    Sean is the most inspirational blogger and a truly amazing person.


  4. This isn't a race, it's a lifetime. I think you're a huge success and should be proud of all you've accomplished and I'm glad you don't care how long it takes. I should have been at my weight loss goal 20 years ago .... oh well ... onward and downward, right?

  5. One more thing:

    Sean, do you take measurements? I know you know that your clothes' size is going down. That is far more important than your weight, as it shows that you are losing fat, not muscle.

    Too many dieters let the scale lead them and end up losing precious muscle while holding onto their fat. I saw this myself when my thyroid went wonky. Yes, I looked thinner, but I had actually only lost muscle.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. That is wonderful that you have inspired someone like that guy from the casino to lose weight. If he is reading, then I wish him enormous success on his journey. As for this brian guy, I think he needs to realize that while he clearly sees your relationship as a competition you don't necessarily see it the same way. Also, you will lose weightuch slower as you approach your body's goal weight. That phenomenon is seen even if you watch a season of biggest loser. Your friend does have a point though--do you keep body measurements? Especiaaly if you are weight training, you may see a slower weight loss but a speedier decrease in measurements. You sound like you are doing great though! Keep it up! Cheers, Christine (

  7. I don't like it. I do not like that comment from Brian, not one little bit.

    3 pounds a month. OK, not so quick. But does it need to be? And do you even have a 'goal weight' to reach? Or are you striving to achieve something responsible and healthy that you can stick with forever? If that's the case, you're going gang busters. If all you want to do is drop weight, eat less and exercise more. If what you want to do is live your improved, active life, be able to handle things as they come up and even get some enjoyment out of the process, well then keep on keeping on.

    There is no finish line, my friend. There is just life.........and it keeps going even after you reach a magic number. Does Brian have a plan in place and advice for you after you do silly unmaintanable things in order to 'get there faster'? Where is it that he's trying to make you get to?

    You're already there!

  8. Sean,

    I'm glad you read my comment, and I'm glad you understood what I was saying, even if many of your readers apparently didn't.

    I think what you've done is amazing, and I think it's fantastic that with the challenges that have been thrown your way that you've kept on. My comment was intended simply to say that I think if you really try, that you can do much much better.

    I agree, that no two people have a journey that is identical. My journey is vastly different from yours. I spent a very short amount of time overweight as a result of a change in activity from leaving the Marine Corps coupled with some poor eating habits that resulted from a period of some extreme depression.

    As a result of this I already had a very solid fitness base when I started, and my body had shown that it wished to be at a normal weight for most of my life. Weight for me is effortless to lose. That is not the case as it is for many people. Others are not blessed with a body that wishes to maintain a healthy weight, others have to fight their body every step of the way.

    So yes, our journeys are very different. I think yours is much more impressive than mine, you've lost an astounding amount of weight. My comment was simply a "I know you can do better if you try." And I know you can. Whether or not you want to make a push by seriously upping your excercise or restricting your calories a little more, is up to you. I know you're going to get to your goal eventually, but I also know that most people would rather get there sooner than later.

  9. Hey sean, the best thing about this post was that you had reached out to someone even though it made them angry, and in doing may have changed their life.
    I used to be a get it off really quick type person too. It gives you a high to see the numbers coming down...
    Then one day I thought, but what will have changed really, when I get to my goal weight.
    It can't just be about the number. It has to be about life.
    That is what we are really transforming here.
    Keep up the good work.

  10. Ah, Sean, my fellow banana eating friend :) You are a ray of sunshine and thank you for shining on my blog today when I needed it.
    Miley Cyrus says it so well in this song---she says "It ain't about how fast you get there"

  11. Sean, you really have no idea how much you impact peoples lives, decisions etc. You are a ray of sunshine in this vicious battle. I know you're human and I know you've struggled. If you could bottle where you are you'd be worth millions. You are a dear friend to me. You'll really never know. The inspiration you give to others is invaluable. You are a gift to so many. Keep smiling and hold that chin up because you have so much to offer this world ... that man at the casino.. you opened his eyes.. some use their get out of jail cards to eat.. he saved his for the journey... one change climbs mountains.

  12. Amen Mary, bless you. The difference between Sean and Brian imho is, Sean has class,and a heart. And I still say you do NOT need a fashion make-over, unless you are wanting to impress. You impressed me a long time ago.

  13. I think it is great that he reached out to you. I love your blog and I try and read it everyday. I have 150 lbs to lose and you are my inspiration. Thank you.

  14. I just don't think Brian understands but that is coming from someone that has not lived your life. I loved how you handled the situation though with such thought and class. I also know this is about life and for people that have spent any time very obese they know exactly how tough this new road really is. So my hat goes off to you again and again for how well you handle people and how much support and care you dish back to everyone you touch. I think you have done amazing in the last 6 months and you definitely have made a ton of effort to learn and grow in all areas of your life. Continue to inspire and be the terrific person you are.


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